11 thoughts on “Humor (or not): God’s Plan

  1. I note that you did not post this to the allegedly Christian-friendly version of this blog. I assume that means you are reminding your atheist friends that since there is no god, they must absolutely commit every resource to eliminating hunger in the world. I’m sure that as a result, they will start doing much better in charitable giving than the Christians do. This would be a major change, and I applaud this effort.

    • Rick: Who says atheists need to a better job in charitable giving? Who says Christians do a better job at charitable giving than atheists? More assumptions or assertions with no evidence.

    • Rick:

      Yeah, I don’t know what happened. I was out for a conference and had both blogs set up for 2 posts. I made a mistake somewhere on CrossExaminedBlog. But both posts are up there now.

      I don’t have much confidence in your implied suggestion that Christians are noticeably more generous than atheists. I’m sure atheists are more eager than Christians to have all-of-us [read: government] help the needy. Count on an election year to highlight conservatives’ famous tight-fistedness in this department. And, IMO, donations to churches count for nothing in this category.

      • Bob,

        Thanks for posting to both sites. Stuff happens.

        As for your comment

        I don’t have much confidence in your implied suggestion that Christians are noticeably more generous than atheists.

        I provided the evidence in the form of the Albert Brooks book. Was that sufficient for you on this point?

        As for government aid being the same thing as generosity when atheists force all of us to pay for their pet projects, no, this is not the same thing. And while you are free to hold your opinion that giving to churches doesn’t count, are you prepared to parse out how much churches do in the aid department, and then add that to direct giving Christians do toward other aid work and compare that to atheist giving? I think this would be a difficult calculation to make and a difficult assertion for you to back up, but I suspect you would still lose out. Let me know what you find on this research.

        The fact that you personally are philanthropic is not to be confused with the norm for atheists.

        • I provided the evidence in the form of the Albert Brooks book. Was that sufficient for you on this point?

          What would’ve been more helpful would’ve been a short paper or post from an objective source with a summary of the evidence. I don’t plan on reading the book. It’s a data point and if you say that it’s evidence on your side, I’ll believe you.

          As for government aid being the same thing as generosity when atheists force all of us to pay for their pet projects, no, this is not the same thing.

          I agree that it’s not the same thing, but I’m not sure why you’d denigrate helping out the needy as atheists’ “pet projects.” I thought they were the pet projects of Jesus as well. No?

          And while you are free to hold your opinion that giving to churches doesn’t count

          There’s not much of an “other side” on this issue. Giving money to churches is like giving money to country clubs. Each is justifiable and each may bring happiness to those who belong, but don’t expect the rest of us to see a lot of altruism in this act.

          are you prepared to parse out how much churches do in the aid department …

          I’d love to, but, as you’ve read in my posts, we simply don’t know how much this is. Wouldn’t it be nice if churches’ books were open?

          2% of gross receipts is the best estimate that I’ve heard, which puts it in the same bin as country clubs. Let me restate that supporting country clubs and churches can be justified–we humans get a lot out of community–but very little in each case goes to good works.

          You can pretend that churches are good works organizations, but seen from that perspective you must imagine outrageously high overhead–98%, say.

          … direct giving Christians do toward other aid work and compare that to atheist giving?

          Yes, money given to good works is what we’re trying to compare.

          Let me know what you find on this research.

          A reasonable challenge. I’ve seen articles that make opposing claims–that Christians are more generous than atheists even after church donation is deducted and that there is little difference. I can’t put my fingers on any of these studies. I’ll let you know if I come across something.

          But even if we assume that Christians are more generous than atheists, what’s your point? If it’s nothing more than that, okay, it’s great to hear that Christians are so generous.

  2. LOl…and shared.

    What a loving plan God has for some of us…lol.

    I thought of a new syllogism that I thought was funny.

    I work in mysterious ways, therefore, I am God.

    My other one is: I quote Bible verses, therefore, I am the chosen one.

  3. To CityDude,

    My apology. I must have confused the issue somehow. I suggested that atheists would be well served to improve their record of philanthropy. You then replied,

    Who says Christians do a better job at charitable giving than atheists? More assumptions or assertions with no evidence.

    Silly me. Somehow, I thought you were making an assertion that there was no evidence to support my suggestion. I provided the evidence supporting my assertion, and also told you you should have done some research before you asserted that I had offered a statement with no evidence, because my claim that Christians have a better track record than atheists in this area is a well established fact.

    You then commented that I was the one making claims. Ok. What’s your point? I did make a claim. You challenged it. I backed it up. You made a comment that seems to suggest I was somehow out of line.

    If you have a point other than the incorrect one you made that my assertion was not backed with research, feel free to make it. Otherwise, I have no idea what you are looking for.

  4. Bob,

    Your comparison of churches to country clubs doesn’t rise to the level of a credible challenge as the two are so incongruous.

    Your responses to my actual points are these:
    1) You won’t read the evidence I provided
    2) You stipulate you accept evidence my source presents
    3) You then continue to write as if there was no data provided and ignore the fact that you stipulated its truth

    I can’t respond to an argument you make in ignorance of the evidence I provide. I don’t know what response you are trying to elicit when you argue with readers who provide evidence too robust for you to address, and keep arguing as if that evidence doesn’t exist. The world is more complex than that sort of sound bite attention span allows for, and if that is the case then perhaps you are not only one who has “no use for faith,” you also have no use for facts.

    If you are at all interested, there are numerous excerpts from Brooks’ research on the web that you can find with minimal effort. That would be far better than arguing as if such evidence didn’t exist, that government spending was the same as charity for liberals (which Brooks dispels) and other points you allege in ignorance of the readily available evidence.

    I’d love to have you address that, but there is another point more important. The point I actually made.

    If liberals are convinced there is no God, then in light of the starving child you so blithely used in the cartoon post to criticize God, then what should THEY do about it? I see two choices.
    1) Sacrifice every possible resource to solve the problem
    2) Chalk it up to survival of the fittest and let ‘em all starve.

    Which response is what we tend to see in liberals and Christians alike? I think we all have room for improvement, which was my actual point. I started off agreeing with your advocacy, remember?

    Another key question—Which response is more in keeping with naturalism and social Darwinism?

    Rick

    • Your comparison of churches to country clubs doesn’t rise to the level of a credible challenge as the two are so incongruous.

      Oh? Sounds like a good comparison to me, particularly in what fraction of their income they give to good works. Obviously, churches/ministries are far more like country clubs than conventional charities when it comes to this fraction.

      1) You won’t read the evidence I provided

      If you assign me a book to read, I will (not surprisingly) do poorly on this homework assignment. Sorry.

      2) You stipulate you accept evidence my source presents

      Sure, let’s provisionally accept that Christians are more generous and see where that takes us.

      Where does that take us?

      3) You then continue to write as if there was no data provided and ignore the fact that you stipulated its truth

      Huh? Don’t know what you’re talking about. Show me.

      I can’t respond to an argument you make in ignorance of the evidence I provide.

      ?? What argument am I making?

      I don’t know what response you are trying to elicit when you argue with readers who provide evidence too robust for you to address, and keep arguing as if that evidence doesn’t exist.

      We are obviously arguing past each other. I didn’t read the book, nor am I. Give me a short article and I’ll read it; anything longer and you shouldn’t hold your breath. And where have I argued as if that evidence doesn’t exist? Maybe I’m confused about the topic.

      1) Sacrifice every possible resource to solve the problem
      2) Chalk it up to survival of the fittest and let ‘em all starve.

      3) Prioritize all world problems (starving children is a biggie but not the only problem) and do our (inadequate) best to resolve them.

      You do know, I hope, that “survival of the fittest” describes how evolution works; it doesn’t prescribe how society should work.

      Another key question—Which response is more in keeping with naturalism and social Darwinism?

      I can extract no meaning from this question. What does naturalism (or chemistry or thermodynamics) have to do with how society should work?

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